Pencil Drawing donated to Museum


Pencil ArtA most interesting gift came to the Lewis County Museum this past week. A pencil drawing, dated 1931, of the old Lewis County High School building has a most unique history.

It was drawn by M. R. McDonald, whom at the time he did the drawing, was incarcerated in Hohenwald’s original jail house located on Park Avenue across the street from the school.

The jail was built to have living quarters for the sheriff’s family on the first floor and the jail cells upstairs. Apparently, Mr. McDonald could look from his cell window and see the school building because the drawing depicts minute details of the school building.

At that time, Dr. W. R. Plummer, known as Dr. Bob, was the town dentist as well as  serving two terms as sheriff. Dr. and Mrs. Plummer had 12 children, four sons and eight daughters. The older daughter would often have to deliver meals upstairs to the inmates.

Mr. McDonald’s sketched this particular drawing, along with several others, and gave them to Dr. Plummer’s daughter, Lillian. It was handed down by Lillian Plummer Williams to her daughter, Susan Williams Welding, who was born in Lewis County and now lives in Ohio.

Mrs. Welding is a second cousin of Johnie Ed Davis, who arranged the delivery of the drawing. “The Museum is most grateful for the gift,” a spokesperson stated.

No personal history is known about Mr. McDonald nor for what offense he was jailed. Anyone who may have any history about him is asked to contact the Lewis County Historical Society, P.O. Box 703, Hohenwald, 38462.

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